194 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
the most extreme fatigue and exposure, when the exigencies of the service demanded.
Since entering the service the regiment has marched three thousand two hundred and eighty-nine miles; been transported on steamboats two thousand two hundred and fourteen miles; and on railroad one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine miles, making the whole distance traveled during the three years, seven thousand two hundred and two miles.
Two hundred and ninety-four of your number have given their lives a willing sacrifice upon their country's altar. Of this number eighty-one were killed in action. Unshrouded and uncoffined their hallowed remains are sanctifying the rebellious hills and valleys of Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia. The recollections of these brave men who have so nobly fallen will ever be fresh in the memory of their comrades. Let us emulate their noble deeds. Patriotic braves can ask no better time to die than while raising their arm in defense of the best Government that God ever gave to man. Two hundred and seven have been wounded in action, many of whom must be cripples for life. They must have our warmest sympathy, and, when needed, our active aid.
Five hundred and eighty-nine have lost their health in the service, and have been discharged before the expiration of their term. Twenty-seven are reported as missing in action. Thirty-one have been transferred to the Invalid Corps, and seventeen are reported deserters, making the total loss of the regiment eight hundred and eighty-five men. We entered the service with nine hundred and forty men.
During your three years' term your regiment has, excepting a short time, constituted the whole or a part of my command. The ready obedience it has always yielded to my orders, and the friendly, generous and cheerful spirit its officers and men have given me in the discharge of my official duties, have won my lasting and warmest gratitude.
In the honor and welfare of the regiment I have always felt, and shall always feel, the deepest solicitude. Whenever the regiment has honored itself, I have felt honored; and had it ever disgraced itself, I should have felt myself disgraced. Let its future be what its past has been, and it will always be the pride of my life, that I was the first Colonel of the Seventy-Eighth Ohio.
Those whose health and circumstances at home precluded them from becoming veterans, close their term of service with us to-day. In bidding farewell to those of your command who now leave you, give them the assurance that the reputation of the "Old Seventy-Eighth," so dearly won, shall be fully sustained in its veteran organization – that the remaining pages of its history shall be equally glorious with those already written.
Your friend and former Colonel,
M. D. LEGGETT,
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